Catherine W. Bishir, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, has degrees in English from the University of Kentucky and Duke University. From 1971 through 2001 she served in various capacities in the Survey and National Register Branch of the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. She is currently Curator in Architectural Special Collections at North Carolina State University, where she has spearheaded creation of the website North Carolina Architects and Builders: A Biographical Dictionary.

Bishir is author of numerous books and articles on North Carolina history and architecture. In addition to the three-volume guidebook series, she is author of North Carolina Architecture (University of North Carolina Press, 1990) and co-author of Architects and Builders in North Carolina: A History of the Practice of Building (UNC Press, 1990; out of print). A collection of her essays has been published as Southern Built: American Architecture, Regional Practice (University of Virginia Press, 2006)

Her most recent book is Crafting Lives: African American Artisans in New Bern, North Carolina, 1770-1900 (UNC Press, 2013). 

Bishir is a founding member and former president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum.

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